Statewide tour charts Oregon’s business future

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By Oregon Business & Industry

Business and community leaders from all parts of Oregon recognize the urgent need for state budget and tax reforms – especially addressing the rising PERS pension costs sapping budgets for schools, local governments and state services.

That’s what Oregon Business Plan partners learned over the past six weeks in a series of meetings with business groups and community leaders in Southern Oregon, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, the Willamette Valley and on the Oregon Coast. Participants in these meetings showed an appetite for building a stable fiscal foundation for the state that can support wise investments to create a strong education system and build a workforce prepared for the future. Other key regional priorities were identified as well.

Oregon Business & Industry (OBI), the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) and the Oregon Business Council (OBC) will use the input from the statewide meetings to refine policy proposals this summer. Oregon Business Plan partners plan another round of meetings in late summer across the state to review policy proposals and prepare major fiscal policy recommendations to be presented at the Oregon Leadership Summit in early December. Policies presented at the summit will be the business community’s fiscal policy agenda for the 2019 Session.

OBI, PBA and OBC are working with local chambers, school boards, city and county officials, trade and economic development groups committed to a process that can produce significant spending and tax reforms by seeking statewide input, building relationships with community leaders across the state, developing specific proposed solutions, and advocating for those solutions in 2019.